This Saturday's game against Providence ain't your daddy's Syracuse-Providence lacrosse game.
Sure, there's only been two other games between the two teams, in 2009 and 2010, and your Dad probably wasn't even watching. He was probably playing golf or fixing a carburetor or trying out for the Saskatchewan Roughriders or doing all three of those things simultaneously. But the point is, he's probably not going to watch this one either.
What makes this game different from the other, both Syracuse victories, is that this one won't be played in the Carrier Dome. As part of Syracuse Lacrosse's 2011 NFL Stadium Venue Tour, the Orange will play the Friars in Gillette Stadium as part of the 2011 New England Lacrosse Classic.
Princeton and Dartmouth return to Gillette Stadium after participating in the 2010 New England Lacrosse Classic. Princeton beat Brown while Dartmouth shocked Cornell at last year’s event. Syracuse will be making its third appearance at Gillette Stadium, having captured both the 2008 and 2009 NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Championships in Foxborough. Providence will make its first appearance in an NFL venue. The games are scheduled for 4:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Beating Syracuse seems a daunting task for a program like Providence. SU is arguably the best college lacrosse program of the past 40 years. It makes sense then, that in an attempt to take down the Orange last year, Providence set the sport of lacrosse back 50 years to a time when perhaps they would have had a chance.
The last time Syracuse played Providence, the Orange felt more frustration than anything else. Despite winning the game, SU couldn't hide its feelings about the way the Friars played.
"That's not the way you want to play lacrosse," SU goaltender John Galloway said last year after that game. "There's no beating around the bush. That's not lacrosse, what we played today."
The Friars slowed the game down to a crawl, removed tempo altogether and tried to bore Syracuse into submission. For a while, it worked, but the Orange eventually cruised to a 14-5 victory.
This year, however, such a strategy might just work. Syracuse has scored double-digits only once in their last five games. Slowing down the game and keeping the ball out of SU's hands could prove effective if the Orange continue to struggle offensively.
A critical key to combat that will be winning faceoffs, something the Orange have struggled with:
- Syracuse University lacrosse team has yet another defensive ploy to solve down the stretch...Syracuse.com
- Orange lacrosse team picking up the pieces after first loss...YNN
- Syracuse University lacrosse team will travel this weekend without attackman Tim Desko...Dave Rahme